Friday, May 15, 2009

Are We Still A Throw-Away Society?

The American press has recently dubbed us "a Thrift Nation" and it seems that everything is reuse, reinvent, repurpose, re-stick in a corner and think about it later. But are we really and truly holding on to what we can, thinking creatively, and trying to avoid wasting money and material?
I, for one, can tell you with much shame that I purchased--and donated--and trashed--thousands of dollars' worth of consumer goods every year for much of my early adult life. When I was working in the professional world and didn't have a kid--man, it was all about me and those new shoes. But cutting back, working from home, focusing on my family, forced me to realize it was more fun to dig through other people's cast-offs than a rack of things that all looked the same. Every item, every little piece of fabric that goes into one of my recycled fabric flowers, tells a story. So there's always several stories on each of my recycled items that I will never know (and may not want to)!

When I was a kid, it would have been the kiss of death to be busted shopping with your Ma at Goodwill. Last week, I found two spring silk skirts, brand new with tags (reduced from $300 apiece), just my size at the Salvation Army. If you are familiar with brands, they were Karen Millen and Tocca. Perfect. Tossed aside. By someone who had the luxury to do it. Well, I'll be happy to bestow stories upon them. Answer: some of us are still chucking an awful lot! Tocca? What are ya, nuts?

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